The Middlesex-London Health Unit is currently under Step 3 of Ontario's Roadmap to Reopen
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COVID-19 Guidance and Resources for Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes

Note: Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes should contact their Middlesex-London Health Unit investigator with any questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 or other infectious diseases by calling 519-663-5317.


 

Guidance for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes

Visitors to Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes

Recent Updates to Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes Visiting Policy

The Government of Ontario has updated its "Information for visitors to long-term care homes" to be in line with the province's Roadmap to Reopen. For a summary of permitted activities at each step of the roadmap, click here →

Review the following for guidance on visitors:

Guidance for Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes from the Middlesex-London Health Unit

The Middlesex-London Health Unit strongly recommends the following for all Long-Term Care Homes (LTCHs) and Retirement Homes (RHs) in London and Middlesex County:

  • Student placement and activities in LTCHs and RHs must cease for the duration of an outbreak unless there is critical need for staff such that students are necessary for ongoing operation. In this instance, students will then be treated as 'employees' and will not be permitted to train or work at any other health care facility.
  • Residents should wear a mask anytime they are outside of their rooms.

Additionally, given the rising incidence of COVID-19 in the community, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has updated its quarantine guidance for household members of individuals with COVID-19-like symptoms. All household contacts of symptomatic individuals are to quarantine while awaiting the test results of the symptomatic individual. For Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes, the follow guidance now applies:

  • If a staff member's household member is symptomatic, the staff member should not go to work until the symptomatic person's test results are known.
  • If the test results are negative, the staff member may return to work and their normal activities and monitor themselves for the development of symptoms.
  • In exceptional circumstances where clinical care would be severely compromised without additional staffing, work-quarantine may be considered. Additional directions on work-quarantine can be found here.

COVID-19 Testing for LTCHs and RHs

Long-Term Care Homes

Effective July 16, 2021, COVID-19 tests will no longer be required for fully immunized and asymptomatic staff, caregivers, and visitors prior to entering long-term care homes. Learn more → 

For full details about long-term care home surveillance testing and access to homes, please read the Minister's directive.

Retirement Homes

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) recommends that "retirement homes have a policy on a routine asymptomatic screen test program that takes into account the risks and benefits of voluntary, routine, asymptomatic testing and aligns with their resources and needs, as determined by licensees." For full details of what the policy should include, read: RHRA Recommendation for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Screen Testing for Retirement Homes.

COVID-19 swab ordering process:

Healthcare Materials Management Services (HMMS) has assumed the distribution and delivery of COVID-19 swabs to all organizations across Ontario.

  1. Complete this electronic form and submit it online. HMMS will fulfill order requests within 72 hours and will have the COVID-19 swabs delivered to your facility.
  2. To ensure enough COVID-19 swabs are available for all organizations, please restrict orders to a maximum of 110% of your resident and staffing numbers combined, over a one-week period.
  3. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this process, contact HMMSCovid19@hmms.on.ca 

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Long-Term Care Vaccine Education Program

Effective July 1, 2021 all long-term care home operators must comply with the Minister’s Directive: Long-term Care Home COVID-19 Immunization Policy.

Staff must either provide proof of vaccination, written proof of a medical reason for not getting the vaccine or provide proof that they have completed an educational program approved by the long-term care home operators.

The Health Unit has prepared an educational program about:

  • The impact of COVID-19;
  • How COVID-19 vaccines work;
  • Vaccine safety related to the development of the COVID-19 vaccines;
  • The benefits of vaccination against COVID-19;
  • The risks of not being vaccinated against COVID-19;
  • Possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccination; and
  • How to get vaccinated.

Click here to access the session

Additional resources you may find helpful include:

COVID-19 Information
Viral Vector Vaccines
mRNA vaccines
How vaccines safety is monitored in Canada
Facts about COVID 19 vaccines


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Staff masking:

  • All staff and essential visitors must wear surgical/procedure masks at all times for the duration of full shifts or visits in the long-term care and retirement home.

The following videos provide a refresher on the correct procedures for donning and doffing:


Email Updates and Alerts

The staff of long-term care and retirement homes can subscribe to receive email updates and alerts by emailing healthcareproviders@mlhu.on.ca with the subject line "add to LTC and RH distribution list" and let us know at which facility you're employed. To read previous alerts sent by email, please click the link below.

See Past Alerts (Email Archive)

 

Guidance Documents

For general guidance on: Environmental Cleaning, Personal Protective Equipment, and Infection Prevention and Control; Screening, Symptoms, Testing, and Case Management; and Quarantine and Self-Isolation, visit the Guidance and Setting-Specific Resources for Healthcare Providers and Institutions. 

 

 

 
Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes Date

COVID-19 guidance document for long-term care homes in Ontario (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

As updated

COVID-19: Information for visitors to long-term care homes (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

As updated

RHRA Recommendation for Asymptomatic COVID-19 Screen Testing for Retirement Homes (Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority)

July 16, 2021

Scenario Matrix: Retirement Home Covid-19 Visiting Policy (Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority)

July 16, 2021

Retirement Homes Policy to Implement Directive #3 (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

July 14, 2021

COVID-19 Directive #3 for Long-Term Care Homes under the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (Chief Medical Officer of Health)

July 14, 2021

COVID-19 Screening Tool for Long-term Care Homes and Retirement Homes (Ontario Ministry of Health)

July 14, 2021

COVID-19: Long-term care home surveillance testing and access to homes (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

June 30, 2021

Interim Guidance on Infection Prevention and Control for Health Care Providers and Patients Vaccinated Against COVID-19 in Hospital and Long-Term Care Settings (Public Health Ontario)

June 21, 2021

COVID-19: visiting long-term care homes (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

June 3, 2021

Minister’s Directive: Long-term care home COVID-19 immunization policy (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

May 31, 2021

Quick Reference Public Health Guidance on Testing and Clearance (Ontario Ministry of Health)

May 21, 2021

COVID-19 Guidance: Considerations for Antigen Point-of-Care Testing (Ontario Ministry of Health)

May 21, 2021

COVID-19 Fact Sheet: Communal Dining, Indoor Activities and Social Gatherings (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

May 4, 2021

De-escalation of COVID-19 Outbreak Control Measures in Long-term Care and Retirement Homes (Public Health Ontario)

May 4, 2021

Limiting Work to a Single Long-Term Care Home (Ontario Regulation)

April 23, 2021

Limiting Work to a Single Retirement Home (Ontario Regulation)

April 23, 2021

Using Ventilation and filtration to reduce aerosol transmission of COVID-19 in long-term care homes (Government of Canada)

April 12, 2021

COVID-19 Directive #5 for Hospitals within the meaning of the Public Hospitals Act and Long-Term Care Homes within the meaning of the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (Chief Medical Officer of Health)

April 7, 2021

Interim Guidance for Infection Prevention and Control of SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern for Health Care Settings (Public Health Ontario)

April 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion Toolkit (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care)

Available in additional languages

March 1, 2021
COVID-19 Directive #5: Questions and Answers (Ontario Ministry of Health) February 19, 2021
Visits with Residents: A Checklist for Homes (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care) September 9, 2020
Limited Visits During a COVID-19 Outbreak (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care) September 9, 2020
Guide for Visits (Ontario Ministry of Long-Term Care) September 9, 2020
Posters to Retirement Homes (Government of Ontario) July 20, 2020

COVID-19 Test Requisition (Ontario Health)

*Note: these instructions are for how to properly complete a test requisition form.  The form itself can be found here

June 12, 2020
COVID-19 Surveillance Testing – Guidance Regarding Retirement Homes Staff and Resident Testing (Ontario Health) June 9, 2020
Prevention and Management of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care and Retirement Homes (Public Health Ontario) June 5, 2020
COVID-19 Action Plan for Protecting Long-Term Care Homes (Office of the Deputy Minister) April 15, 2020
Memorandum to: Health System Organizations and Providers, Re: Update on COVID-19 Preparations and Actions (Office of the Deputy Minister) April 15, 2020
Guidance for Mask Use in Long-Term Care Homes and Retirement Homes (Ontario Ministry of Health) April 15, 2020
Work Deployment Measures in Long-Term Care Homes (Ontario Regulation) April 14, 2020
Work Deployment Measures in Retirement Homes (Ontario Regulation) April 2, 2020
Infection Prevention and Control for COVID-19: Interim Guidance for Long Term Care Homes (Government of Canada) Check link for updates
 
Date of creation: April 2, 2020
Last modified on: July 23, 2021